I've been through this with a Raymarine
system. Keep in mind that the Error Message may be in error itself. I have no data except my experience and I think somewhere around 40% of the error messages are not correct, maybe close, but often wrong. Also realize that even if your system was working then stopped working -it could be a single
fail point, but it could be the build-up of 2 or 3 fail points.
1) if the AP never holds a course, check the mechanical connection of the RRU (called RPI on Raymarine). you can likely find a graphical indicator of this on the AP head
, but take a look at the actual device and how it connects to the rudder as others here have said.
2) if the bad behavior happens often but not every time then try this. a) calibrate the autopilot, easy to do in flat water
and enough space. This fixes a lot of wacky problems in any system, and is a good idea as an annual service
item. b) if the AP will only turn circles hard to port, then move the wheel back and forth a few times and steer a course to starboard and engage the AP. This would point to issues in the rheostat of your RRU or your drive unit seals
Still broken? then check the mechanical connections at the course computer, especially the fluxgate compass
and RRU. fluxgates are not too expensive, I once solved
a system with your problem by swapping in a new fluxgate
. There was nothing wrong with the RRU or AP head
or linear drive
(the error messages were all wrong).
still broken? it would be nice to swap out the course computer to test but these are often hard to borrow. Instead find the manufacturer's R and V values to test outputs of your devices (course computer, fluxgate, RRU, AP head). I would be suspicious of continuity in your wiring
harness and voltage since your backlights are also non-functional at the AP head. could be low voltage.
Good luck and let us know - these things are maddening. especially if you're single
handing and depend on the autopilot.